My years as a CASA volunteer guardian ad litem drew me to these Star Tribune articles (#2) about adult court and probation for youth.

We the people are serious about continued investment in our punishment model.

Expelling kids from daycare and elementary school is common. Charging youth in adult courts is too. The nation’s Supreme Court recently reinstated lifelong (no chance for release) sentencing for crimes committed by juveniles.

Instead of investing in healing broken children we invest our tax dollars into courts that punish kids from traumatizing violent and toxic homes. Are we bad at math or pro growing crime, criminals and broken communities?

Imagine the cost to taxpayers of 80+% recidivism at nine years in the prison system and the vast numbers of children going from child protection into Juvenile Justice (Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz thought it 90% of them) and then to Criminal Justice.


From the Star Tribune articles;

Justice Anne McKeig underscored the “foster care-to-prison pipeline,” with 90% of foster children coming into contact with the juvenile justice system, suggesting the system is flawed and calling for legislative action.

“[W]e are at a crossroads for how we deal with some of the most vulnerable individuals in our society,” McKeig wrote.”

It’s an accurate snapshot of the resources our community does not provide to abused and neglected children in child protective services.

Most likely, it will be a long prison sentence for  Husayn Braveheart for the carjacking crime he committed as a fifteen year old after years of child abuse and foster care.

Healing kids in foster care would save us money and the pain caused by damaged children turning their rage against the rest of us.

From the article, “Braveheart’s long history of juvenile programming has been unsuccessful, she wrote, due to his unwillingness to meaningfully participate and worsening behavior after each program. That, coupled with a lengthy juvenile detention history of felony and misdemeanor charges, arrest warrants and probation, weigh in favor of adult certification, Hudson said.


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This article submitted by CASA volunteer Mike Tikkanen

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